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How to use a Turbohaler

Patient information A-Z

You have been given an inhaler to help with the management of your child’s asthma. Medications for asthma are usually inhaled as this goes straight to the airways where they are needed. There are two main types of treatment for asthma: preventers and relievers.

Preventers are used to help control swelling and inflammation in the airways. They take about two to four weeks to build up effectiveness and should then be taken regularly even when your child is feeling well. Preventer inhalers are various colours.

Everyone with asthma should have a reliever inhaler. Relievers are medications taken to relieve asthma symptoms such as cough and wheeze. They relax the muscles in the airways within five to ten minutes making it easier to breathe. Reliever inhalers are usually blue.

There are many different devices for taking preventer or preventer inhalers. It is important that your child’s inhaler technique is checked annually; getting the inhaler technique right is very important because it can help to manage asthma symptoms better.

Further information can be found from the Asthma + Lung UK Website (opens in a new tab)

or phone 0300 222 5800

Contact: clinical nurse specialist on 01223 216585

  1. Store your Turbohaler in a dry place as this is a dry powder inhaler (DPI)
  2. Unscrew and remove the white mouthpiece cover
  3. Hold the inhaler upright with the coloured base at the bottom
  4. To load the Turbohaler before each dose, twist the coloured base as far as it will go to the right and all the way back again to the left until you hear a click. You will need to complete this process twice when using the Turbohaler for the first time. Please note: you will still hear a clicking sound when the Turbohaler is empty, please check the dose counter
  5. Facing away from the inhaler device, breathe out gently as far as you comfortably can
  6. Put the mouthpiece in your mouth and ensure your lips are tightly sealed around the mouthpiece – ensure your head is upright and the Turbohaler is held horizontally (at right angles to your mouth)
  7. Breathe in as hard and deeply as possible
  8. Remove the Turbohaler from your mouth and hold your breath for 5-10 seconds or for as long as you comfortably can
  9. Breathe out gently away from your inhaler
  10. For further doses, repeat steps 2 to 8
  11. Replace the white mouthpiece cover
  12. The dose counter changes from white to red when there are 20 doses left
  13. If your Turbohaler contains steroid medication (for example Symbicort or Pulmicort), rinse your mouth with water after inhalation
Use this QR code to access the Asthma + Lung UK video on how to use a Turbohaler device

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Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151